Posts Tagged ‘inventors’

How a patent came to be

February 3rd, 2010 by Richard Zwicky

Many, many years ago when I was a youngster growing up, I read lots of books about people like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. I marveled at how many things they had invented, and the effects just the things they patented still had on our lives.

At the time, I never expected to be in a position where I would have my name associated with a published patent.

Yesterday, a patent I wrote was issued. It’s patent number 7,657,626, and refers to an original method of detecting click fraud. It’s a dry read, so I’m not sure if you want to rush out and read it, but if you’re having a hard time sleeping, you can find the patent here, at the USPTO office.

Now, in no way do I consider that this one issued patent in any way puts me, or any of my ideas in the league of these great inventors or innovators, but I am thrilled nonetheless. To have an idea recognized as truly original in this process is special, and I truly feel honored, and am indebted to everyone who helped guide me through the process.

Of all the things I’ve done, this one really was like a light bulb going on. The idea came to me over a holiday weekend a few years ago. My son and I were enjoying a boy’s weekend getaway at our cabin at a lake near Victoria. I’d been deep in data looking at random server activity data all week, so playing around in the water, cooking meals over the fire, and staring at the night sky was a welcome change. The second night I went to bed around 11, and was out solid until 2:30 a.m. I woke up with a start and an idea in my head. Normally, like most people I’d just roll over and go back to sleep, telling myself that I’d deal with it in the morning, by which time I’d forget about it. But this time, I grabbed a pen and paper and started writing. Two hours later I was stuck; I’d written many pages of notes, and long-form formulae / processes, but something was missing. I put the notes away and went back to sleep.

The next day I spent being very busy doing nothing! I didn’t even read my notes from the night before, figuring that I could get back to it after the weekend. That night, I woke up at 3:00 a.m., with an idea how to break through the last barrier in the process. I started writing, and that night completed what turned out to be the first draft of the provisional patent application.

The following week I sat down with our Mathematican, Rafael Parra Hernandez, and he helped me take my long-form formulae and convert them to more conventional mathematics. He also explained to me the various types of math I had incorporated in the processes. If my high-school math teachers could see it now, they’d never believe it!

And, that’s how a patent came to be.